MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE
We tend to give physical shapes to fragile emotions, as if to elongate their effect. Love is vulnerable and couples may feel a natural urge to solidify it, just like the age-old lover activity of carving one’s initials on a tree.
Locking the padlock and throwing away the key symbolizes fidelity and commitment, with love coming to the rescue in the middle of life’s uncertainty.
Historically, the practice seems to come from an ancient Chinese tradition, though there is a story of a doomed love affair in Serbia between a teacher and army officer, who used to meet at a bridge.
The army officer was sent away to Greece and fell in love with someone else, breaking the heart of the school teacher.
The current global epidemic has transformed relationships, dating, and sex.
Lovers and family members are suffering aching separations as borders have closed. Weddings have been postponed and everyday choices, like whether to meet a potential suitor, have become matters of life and death.
Most Americans of this generation are now more free than the earlier generations. They are free and spoilt for choice to date, marry, divorce or have casual sexual encounters.
The price of this freedom, as it turns out, may be loneliness.
Romanticism emerged as an ideology in Europe in the mid-18th century in the minds of poets, artists and philosophers, and it has now conquered the world.
It has permeated our culture with many assumptions about how couples are supposed to get together. It teaches us what to value, how to approach conflicts and what to get excited about.
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